Eagles slim home favorites vs. Falcons on Thursday Night Football


Nick Foles’ sporadic play in the preseason may have fed the narrative about a Super Bowl hangover with the Philadelphia Eagles, but it’s also put the line for the NFL season opener in a range where Philly thrives.

The Eagles are set as 1.5-point favorites against the Falcons with a 44.5-point total on the Thursday Night Football odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Since 2008, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, the Eagles are 8-2 both straight up and against the spread as a home favorite of 2.5 or fewer points.

Last January’s playoff win against Atlanta also gave the Eagles a record of 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 games against the Falcons.

Atlanta and quarterback Matt Ryan were 11-7 SU and 8-10 ATS overall, with the total going UNDER in their final seven games (with an average combined score of 33.86). The playoff loss against the Eagles was a microcosm of how Atlanta’s offensive whole has not been greater than the sum of its parts – which now include  rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley opposite veteran Julio Jones – since midway through last season.

While the Eagles will not have linebacker Nigel Bradham (suspension), they had the NFL’s No. 4-ranked defense last season and the unfavorable matchup might cancel out the Falcons’ trend of being 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games at night.

The Eagles went 16-3 SU and 13-6 ATS while winning their first Super Bowl title last season and that included being 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS when favored at home. With No. 1 quarterback Carson Wentz (ACL) ruled out, the Eagles will have to rely on their defense to buy time for Foles and the offense to find a rhythm.

The Eagles will be sacrificing some explosiveness with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery sidelined (shoulder) but between running back Jay Ajayi, slot receiver Nelson Agholor, tight end Zach Ertz and others, the Eagles have no end of ways to move the ball in sustained chunks of yardage.

The total has gone UNDER in 10 of the Falcons’ last 13 games against the Eagles, with an average combined score of 40.31. The total has gone OVER in seven of the Eagles’ last nine games on a Thursday night.

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